Project Lead The Way
Feedback is critical! The Project Lead The Way and Mass STEM Hub teams can only improve if educators and students provide regular candid feedback though our student and teacher surveys.
- What is the purpose of the surveys?
- When will student surveys be completed?
- How can my school access the online survey?
- Will I need to roster my students in order to participate in the survey?
What is the purpose of the surveys?
The student and teacher surveys inform how we can make PLTW learning experiences better. Feedback helps us design the following types of opportunities to student and teacher needs:
- Student events and competitions that complement the PLTW curriculum
- Recruitment of industry partners to visit classrooms and host students & teachers; and
- Tours of showcase PLTW schools across the Commonwealth for teachers and school leaders.
What are the benefits of participating?
Student insights: The survey provides schools with useful information, such as their students’ level of interest in STEM and the skills that PLTW helps them develop.
Educator dashboards: Participating schools receive a school-specific dashboard summarizing survey results including es how their PLTW programming is benchmarked to other schools in Massachusetts. Participating schools will also review research conclusions and key findings about implementation best practices.
Continual Improvement: The survey helps Mass STEM Hub design programming (e.g., teacher training, industry connections, student competitions and events) to schools’ needs.
When will student surveys be completed?
Students will complete the survey at the end of their PLTW unit/course.
- Middle school: Surveys will be administered during 4-week windows throughout the year to accommodate different middle school schedules (e.g., trimester, quarter, semester, and year-long classes). The specific 4-week window will differ depending on course end dates.
- High school: Surveys will be completed at the end of the year during May and June (depending on schools’ course end dates).
When should teachers complete their surveys?
Teacher surveys should be completed at the end of the year, in May and June.
How can my school participate in this survey?
Grant-funded schools are required to participate in the survey.
Schools that offer PLTW but are not grant-funded who wish to take part in this wonderful opportunity must make sure their students are rostered and sign the survey participation form. If you would like to participate but are not sure if your school has already signed on, please email PLTW’s Mary Laturnau at email@example.com or Suzie Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will I know when to administer the survey?
Teachers will receive an email from Abt Associates, the organization administering the survey.
How can my school access the online survey?
Survey links can be accessed by visiting http://dashboard.mass-stemhub.org/. Teachers will receive an email from Abt Associates, the organization administering the survey, with instructions.
What sort of questions are asked on the student survey?
At the highest level, the student survey seeks to answer three questions:
- What are students’ perceptions of PLTW?
- How has participation in PLTW impacted students’ overall engagement in school and interest in STEM
- What skills do students think are the most important for them to be successful? Does PLTW help students develop these skills?
What types of questions are asked on the teacher survey?
At the highest level, the teacher survey seeks to answer three questions:
- How satisfied are teachers with PLTW?
- What does PLTW programming look like at the school level (e.g., course offerings, scheduling)?
- What other programming or supports would make PLTW even more effective for students and teachers?
Will I need to roster my students in order to participate in the survey?
Rostering is a critical part of the process. Using this roster data, Abt will send middle and high school PLTW teachers unique links for each student who is enrolled in the course.
Will I be able to review the data from the survey to help inform my planning?
Teachers and leaders from participating schools will receive online data dashboards with a summary of their survey results. Educators will be able to see responses from their class and, where possible, will be able to compare class responses to students across the state.
Should ALL my students take the survey?
All students who participate in PLTW during the school year should complete the survey. The more students participate, the better and more informative your data will be. This will provide an accurate snapshot of progress and inform your teaching practice.
What if I don’t have a survey link for one of my students?
Abt Associates is overseeing the survey administration process. In preparation for the survey administration, Abt will e-mail teachers links for all of the students who have been rostered into PLTW courses. Abt will also send additional links for students who weren’t initially rostered. If you have any problem with the survey or need additional links for students, please contact the Abt survey director at Brian_Freeman@abtassoc.com or 617-520-2356.
How long are the surveys?
The middle and high school student surveys are designed to take approximately 15-20 minutes. The teacher survey is designed to take roughly 20 minutes. Students with limited English proficiency or special needs may need slightly more time to complete the survey.
What is the format for the surveys? Are there special materials that are required?
The surveys are completed online on a computer or tablet.
Do the surveys require specific technology?
The surveys are designed to be accessible by any device that can get online (laptop, desktop, Chromebook, iPad, etc.). While the surveys do not require any specific technology, it is important for teachers to confirm that the links that Abt sends are not blocked by their schools’ IT infrastructure. The e-mail that teachers receive from Abt will include instructions about how to test this.
Is student consent required?
The survey is voluntary, but we hope that all of your students will participate. The first page of the student survey explains that the survey is voluntary. Abt will be sending participating teachers a sample notification letter that they can send home with students.
Is the survey available in Spanish?
The survey is available in Spanish.
How do you recommend that schools administer surveys to ensure 100% completion?
To ensure 100% student participation in the least amount of time, we recommend completing the survey during one of the students’ final PLTW classes.
How will the data be used?
The data from the surveys will be used in three ways:
- For school and teachers to understand students’ perspectives on the class. Participating schools will have access to data dashboards that will show students’ impressions on the impact the class had on their interest in STEM and their STEM knowledge and skills.
- To inform Mass STEM Hub programming for schools. School feedback informs Mass STEM Hub design of student and teacher opportunities like teacher networking and professional learning opportunities as well as student competitions and events and connections to industry.
- As an input into PLTW’s formal evaluation of PLTW programming in Massachusetts. Project Lead The Way is conducting a six-year evaluation of the implementation and impact of the PLTW program throughout Massachusetts. This evaluation will increase understanding of how PLTW creates engaging learning experiences that help students develop the skills required for success in college and careers.
What is Abt Associates?
Abt Associates is an independent research firm that will be working with Mass STEM Hub to oversee the Massachusetts PLTW survey administration.